Negotiate a pay raise

Become Comfortable Negotiating Your Salary without Fear in a Few Simple Steps

Whether we like it or not, money makes the world go round. It doesn't often buy happiness, but it sure makes it easier for us to do the things in life that make us happy.

In order to get that money, most people have to head off to work. Whether you're an accountant, a teacher, a police officer, a sports analyst, or anything in between, you rely on your paycheck to pay for almost everything in your life.

And, like most people, you probably feel like you're not getting paid quite enough for the things you do. You work hard each and every day and deserve to be rewarded for that.

But what do you do if you're not making what you should be? The only choices are to suffer where you're at or go negotiate salary wages with your boss.

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Often one of the hardest things to talk about in life is money. People become sheepish, uncomfortable, and anxious when budgets, salaries, and bills come into the conversation.

It's important to remember that money is a fact of life, and people understand that more than you think. Especially people at a company or corporation.

If you're worth more than what you're currently making, it's important to take action. We know it can be terrifying, but think about how much better you'll feel when your salary increases.

No time to cry home to mama. We're walking into that office and not leaving until a change has been made.

Salary Shmalary

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Salary just sounds like one of those words adults say to sound sophisticated. But what exactly is that?

In generic terms, it is the amount of money that you can expect to receive for doing your job. A lot of times, a salary is something that is fixed, meaning you make the same amount of money on every check you get. 

This check might come to your weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly depending on the company. The specific amount you receive is decided on by an employer before being given to you. 

Overall, it's that sweet, sweet cash you get for showing up to work and doing your job.

Who's In Charge of Your Salary

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So someone gets to decide what your work is worth before you even begin to work? What kind of logic is that?

While it might seem a little strange, it is true. The higher-ups in your company are the ones that are ultimately in charge of your salary.

According to what level of skill they think your job takes, how skilled they think you are, how much they want to hire you, and how much money they are able to pay their employees, your boss will come up with a rough figure for you to receive before your job even begins.

This number can be altered over time, through negotiation, bonuses, and raises, but will likely stay at the same rate for at least a year.

What's the Point?

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All this money talk is making everyone feel uncomfortable. Why even bother trying to negotiate salary wages anyway?

There are actually a lot of great reasons why you should consider trying to negotiate your salary. The most obvious, of course, is money.

If you take the time to negotiate your salary and are successful, you'll be able to bring home more money at the end of every week. This should enable you to do more of the things you want, invest in certain items, and maybe finally go on that Alaskan cruise you've been dreaming of.

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What you might not initially think about is how much negotiating your salary will impact your future employment opportunities.

If you've filled out an application recently, or ever in your life, you probably know that dreaded field where they ask how much you currently make at your place of employment.

You might not think this is incredibly important, but it's actually a way for future companies to determine how much other people, and yourself, value your work. If they see that you're used to making something less than what you're actually valued at, they might follow a similar line of pay for you down the line. 

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Similarly, negotiating your salary proves to your boss that you know what you're worth. You understand how skilled you are in your field and how much someone of a similar skill level makes.

Plus, you'll never know unless you take steps to ask for it.

An employer will not be aware of the fact that you are unhappy with your salary unless you talk to them about it. Many places can often be quite accommodating, but only once they know it's bothering you.

Speak up! Let them hear your voice so you can get the money you deserve.

If It's Important to You, It's Important to Them

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Another way to look at it is that if you're a good worker that the company values, they should care about what you want. Not only that, but they should be considerate of your time and effort and reward you for that. 

Having the courage to negotiate salary raises with your boss is so important. Not only for the sake of money but for the sake of your time.

Getting paid fairly makes you feel valued, appreciated, and ready to work even harder. This should be crucial to your company.

Keeping you happy at your job should be their top priority if they want you to keep doing a good job at it. Meaning that if you show them how important a raise is to you, they should find it to be just as important to them.

Negotiate Salary Notes: When and Where

When is the right time and where to negotiate a pay raise

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All this is great, but when would you even be able to do this? It's not like you can waltz into your boss's office at any time and demand a salary boost, right?

It all depends on what you have to say, and what you have to back that up.

A great time to begin negotiating is when you have a job offer in hand. This can be tricky waters but is something that could drastically improve your initial image of the company.

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Think about it, if you're already unhappy with the salary you are expected to receive before you begin, imagine what you'll feel like a year down the line. It's best to resolve the issues before they begin to impact your actual work ethic.

Be sure to be patient until you have the actual job offer in hand though. You'll have a much better chance of succeeding with your negotiation skills if you are certain the company even wants you.

If they really want you, but you're going to decline their offer if the salary isn't higher, say something. Let them know, and they may be able to help accommodate with a bit higher of a salary right from the get-go.

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Once you've been at the job and have been working consistently, you may also want to negotiate salary raises.

Perhaps you've come to realize you're doing a lot more work than you initially thought, or your level of skill and leadership far exceeds that of your coworkers. It may be time to consider talking numbers with your boss.

However, only do so if you actually have a valid point to discuss. They will almost undoubtedly have questions for you before they decide to give you the raise you're looking for.

Why do you deserve this salary raise? Can you give me a good reason why I should consider giving you this raise? What have you been able to bring to this company that makes you worthy of a raise?

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They're going to ask you these types of things, so make sure you're prepared for it. Go in knowing exactly what you want to say and how you want to say. 

And if you don't have a valid answer to any of those questions, maybe it's not quite time to negotiate. Trying to haggle your wages just for the sake of it can reflect poorly on you.

Instead, give it some more time. Learn more skills, get more experience, and show them your true merit in the company. Once you have something to back you up, and real-life examples to support it, head into that office once more.

Someone Give Me a Price Tag!

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All this talk of money and worth is making it hard to think. Someone just say what the salary should be already!

It can be challenging to understand just how much you, as an individual worker, are worth. It's not like you can just Google what your net worth is.

While you may not be able to do that, unless you're Beyonce, you can Google what other people are making in your field. See what salaries people of similar background and experience make and compare that to what you're making.

If the numbers don't seem to line up, perhaps it's time to start thinking about a bit of negotiation. If they do, at least you know that you're making a fair wage compared to others out on the market.

Why Is This So Hard?

If negotiation is so important, why is it that so many people don't negotiate salary raises?

Honestly, it's difficult. Especially for someone who's never done that type of thing before. It seems harmful to your reputation, impossible to succeed with, and a challenge just to even think about. 

Why is that? What makes this seem like such a daunting task?

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The truth lies in our prior experiences. We often view negotiation as a sign of conflict. People are not agreeing in terms of money and must, therefore, go back and forth on how much something is worth.

This idea of conflict is only then heightened by the prior experiences we've had with conflict. Perhaps you've argued with your brother, your partner, your mom, or a friend from college.

You're bound to have lost an argument somewhere down the line, which then creates a fear of loss, punishment, and rejection. This fear then translates to your job when negotiation is brought to the table.

You don't want to lose your job or be somehow punished for trying to improve your wages. That alone makes trying to negotiate incredibly difficult for anyone at any stage of their career.

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The important thing to remember here is that it's not a major conflict unless you make it into one. Unless you go in and begin screaming until you get a raise, you'll probably not experience the type of conflict your brain is imagining. 

Speak professionally, and you will be responded to professionally. Make them understand your points in a non-hostile way, and your idea of conflict should disappear. 

The first time you do this will undoubtedly be the most difficult. If you can push through that fear and walk out victorious, everything in the future will seem like a breeze.

Walk Me Through It

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Great, it will get easier over time. But that doesn't help you the first time around. You need the right tools and mindset to tackle this task head-on. Which is why we've created a step-by-step guide to negotiate salary raises in a way that is simple to understand.

All you'll need to know is the word, negotiate. 

Notice the Problem 

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You'll never be able to fix a problem you don't see. Look around you, both at work and online, to see what people of your skill should be making.

There are a lot of variables to this, but stopping and noticing that something is not fair is the first step to it all.

Examine the Situation 

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Is this a good time? Do you have a reason to be making more? Have you established yourself at this company?

Consider your unique situation before jumping into a negotiation. Now may not be the best time, or it may be the perfect time. Take a look at your situation and consider the pros and cons of acting now or acting in the future.

Gather Insight

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Go Google it! See what other people in your geographical area and profession are making. Take the time to notice their skill level and experience.

Do a bit of research on what things you might want to say or do while negotiating. While we are able to provide you a rough outline, you may want to search for job-specific negotiation points.

Overcome the Fear

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Breathe. It's going to be okay. The world will not burn up in smoke just because you want to make the money you deserve.

Remember that negotiation does not necessarily equal conflict. Things can often be easily resolved, and there is no need to be fearful about it.

Take the Time to Plan Ahead

Do your homework. Think about how you want to speak to your boss during the negotiation and what you might be able to say.

Don't try to wing it the day of. Planning is a crucial part of any successful negotiation. Sure, not all the details may be said in the same order, but having a rough idea of what you'd like to say can make sure you hit key points in the heat of the moment.

Incorporate Details of Your Worth

Show them why you deserve it. Tell them what you have done for their company and what makes you worth more than what you're being paid.

Don't just say “You'll never find someone better than me.” Be honest and incorporate details from your experience. Don't brag about being amazing; explain to them why they should think you are amazing.

Anticipate Potential Questions

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Your boss is going to ask you questions. They're going to want to know why you want them to up your salary and why you deserve it.

Be prepared for this. Just because you have a speech ready does not mean that you'll succeed. You need to be able to calm their fears but successfully answering their questions when they ask them.

Talk Through the Offer Professionally

You're in the office, and you're going over all the things you've worked so hard to prepare. Everything is great except for one small detail: the way you talk.

Remember that you are in a professional environment and that you must, in turn, speak professionally. You're not hanging out with your friends and laughing about how stupid your job is.

Present yourself well, speak firmly yet warmly, and take the time to listen to what your employer has to say. If you remain professional and talk things out, you will likely be able to come to an agreement everyone can be satisfied with.

Enjoy Your Success

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You did it! You successfully negotiated your salary and came out victorious. Now it's time to bathe in that success.

Take some time to reward yourself for going through with the whole process. Perhaps you get yourself a fancy lunch, or maybe even those new pair of shoes you've been waiting for.

It's also going to be important to follow up with your boss to let them know that you are satisfied with the outcome and that you appreciate their flexibility.

Top Tips to Secure That Raise

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Now that you know exactly what to do, it's important that you know what not to do while attempting to negotiate salary raises.

It can be easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and say things unintentionally. This could potentially end your chances of ever hoping to receive a salary boost from the company.

By knowing what not to say ahead of time, you can avoid these common slip-ups and have a better chance for success.

Now What?

Like with most things in life, it's important to follow up after the negotiation process is through. You want to let your employer know that you understand this was not just a big moment for you, but a big moment for them too.

Don't be apologetic about the experience; you deserve what you were given. But do be humble about the whole process.

Thank them for understanding your perceptions and thoughts and for being gracious with their offer. People like to feel acknowledged and appreciated, even your boss. If they know you're appreciative, they may be more willing to give you a raise again further down the line.

Reap the Benefits of a Job Well Done

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Money can often make or break the experience you have working at a job. It can stress you out and miss out on the wonderful opportunities a workplace can offer.

By learning to negotiate salary wages, you can eliminate that stress and get back to doing your job. You can help push your company forward, make great connections, and have the skills and resources to back you up as you continue to move forward with your career.

At the end of the day, remember to enjoy yourself. Negotiation can be scary, but if you're able to do it and do it well, you will feel so much better. Not just about your job, but about yourself.

So do yourself a favor and stop settling for less. Grab a bit of courage and go get paid what you're worth.

Now that you know exactly what to do, it's important that you know what not to do while attempting to negotiate salary raises.

It can be easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and say things unintentionally. This could potentially end your chances of ever hoping to receive a salary boost from the company.

By knowing what not to say ahead of time, you can avoid these common slip-ups and have a better chance for success.

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About Diane Turner

Career as a CNA By Diane Turner Nursing aids are responsible for providing basic medical care and assisting those in long-term health care facilities with their daily activities. This might include helping patients bathe or use the bathroom, turn or reposition patients that are bedridden. They may also help transfer those […]